Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
This book was written in 1992 and feels an appropriate choice given the new revolution happening in Cuba right now. There are nice doses in the novel of Cuban life juxtaposed with American life, and typical of much Middle American writing, there are instances of magical realism.
Here are a couple of examples of Garcia fashioning her words:
‘If she had a son, she would leave Jorge and sail to Spain, to Granada. She would dance flamenco, her skirts whipping a thousand crimson lights. Her hands would be hummingbirds of hard black sounds, her feet supple against the floorboards of the night. She would drink whiskey with tourists, embroider histories flagrant with peril, stride through the darkness with nothing but a tambourine and too many carnations. One night, Gustavo Sierra de Armas would enter her club, walk onstage, and kiss her deeply to violent guitars.’
‘Celia remembers Felicia in another bathing suit, a tiny lemon-yellow one she wore the year the sea retreated beyond the horizon, the year the archaeology of the ocean floor revealed itself – catacombs of ancient coral, lunar rocks exposed to the sun. Felicia squatted, examining the shells as if they were unexpected gems, then rearranged them on the sand. Around her, neighbors scrambled with wooden buckets, looting the beach for stranded fish and crabs. The sun baked their footsteps hard as fossils. Then the tidal wave hit, wiping their traces from shore.’